Former San Diego-based babysitter, Zayne St. Julien, has pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd acts on a child. The 22-year-old agreed to a 22-year prison sentence as part of his plea deal in San Diego Superior Court.
The alarming incident involved three boys, aged 7, 8, and 11 at the time, who were molested at their homes between July and December of last year. It was discovered that the victims’ parents had hired St. Julien through a website called SitterCity.
One parent bravely reported the molestation to the police in November 2022, prompting an immediate investigation. Subsequently, with the cooperation of SitterCity personnel, two other boys were identified as possible victims, and their parents reported the incidents the following month.
St. Julien was promptly arrested in late December, according to the police. This shocking case has brought to light important questions regarding the safety precautions and background checks implemented by caregiver platforms like SitterCity.
SitterCity, in response to the incident, released a statement asserting that St. Julien had been an active member on its platform since June of 2019 and had undergone 11 background checks, none of which revealed any criminal history. The company further emphasized that there had been no prior complaints against St. Julien.
As a result of the allegations, SitterCity not only reached out to law enforcement but also removed St. Julien from its website. The company diligently contacted families who had previously interacted with him to ensure their awareness of the situation.
This case serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough background checks when it comes to hiring caregivers. Platforms like SitterCity have a responsibility to prioritize the safety of their users, especially vulnerable children. While it is impossible to prevent all instances of misconduct, stringent screening procedures are essential to minimize the risks.
Moving forward, it is expected that SitterCity and similar platforms will review and enhance their safety protocols to provide better protection for families and children. Authorities must also consider regulatory measures to ensure adequate safeguards are in place.
The impact of this disturbing incident will likely resonate throughout the community, reminding parents to be vigilant and cautious when entrusting their children’s safety to caregivers. The hope is that these unfortunate occurrences will lead to more robust safety measures within the caregiving industry, ensuring the protection and well-being of children at all times.